(with love from) FAT VAN LIFE
For the past five years, I have taken long road trips around North America in my (slightly) converted minivans. First, there was Simone De BeauVan: a very glamorous navy blue 2004 Dodge Grand Caravan that - as the anniversary edition and therefore slightly wider and longer than your average minivan - fit a double mattress on the floor quite comfortably. My second (and current) adventuremobile is named Jolene, and she is a sensitive 2000 Mazda MPV covered in bumper stickers and loving scratches.
You don't need anything fancy to live the #vanlife; my favourite place to sleep (especially on solo trips) is a well-lit Walmart parking lot. I sleep on a thin mattress with regular bedding, I eat the same foods I would eat at home, and I shower when I can and if I feel like it. And despite popular depictions of who participates in vanlife, you don't have to be thin, either. While familiar issues and experiences of weight stigma certainly follow those of us in bigger bodies wherever we go, living out of my van on these road trips have been the best times of my life.
A large part of why I started STAY FAT was because I want to be able to work remotely and live on the road more often. I want to be able to share my art from wherever I happen to be, and I want to be able to give back in some way to the communities whose lands I have been lucky to visit.
Partial proceeds from the sale of these art prints and other travel-related products will go to various beneficiaries, such as the U.S. National Park Service, the Navajo Nation, and Fat Girls Hiking, all of whom have made my experiences of van life all the more fulfilling.